July 19, 2020

How Would It Begin? The Early Signs of Totalitarianism One day some nonviolent protesters against police brutality are walking together down a city center street near their encampment. They have not broken any federal laws but are suspected of being anarchists. The state, county and local police have not issued warrants for their arrest or for the arrest of their comrades. They authorities have chosen to let them camp out downtown and exercise their right to free speech. A few… Read more

July 16, 2020

A Little Known Footnote to Evangelical History: Love of Jews Wikimedia Commons Anti-Semitism is the word used for hatred of Jews, whether explicit or implicit, even unconscious. I once knew a man, a Presbyterian elder, who vehemently denied that he was anti-Semitic but expressed the opinion that the Jews of Europe “brought it on themselves”—referring to the Holocaust. That’s by any definition anti-Semitism (and I told him so). Many people wrongly think that evangelical Christians are anti-Semitic. I have been… Read more

July 12, 2020

The Untold Story of How Hitler Came to Power in Germany (Wikimedia Commons) “Untold story” doesn’t mean what it sounds like. Of course the stories have been told. What “untold story” usually indicates is that the story is not widely known—and should be. Personally, I don’t know of any one “place” (book, film) where this particular story has been fully told, but it probably exists. I have pieced the story together from various sources—including living in Germany where it all… Read more

July 9, 2020

Jesus versus Paul: A Sign of Liberal Theology? Let me just say right off the bat that, as a scholar of modern theology, pitting Jesus against Paul and Paul against Jesus has been a hallmark of liberal Protestant theology since the Enlightenment. But even Thomas Jefferson couldn’t accept everything Jesus said so he created what has come to be known as “The Jefferson Bible” which is really titled The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. Every Christian I have… Read more

July 6, 2020

Evangelicals and Trump According to a recent news report, Pew Research says that approximately 75% (give or take some) of white evangelicals think Trump is currently doing a good job as president—indicating they will vote for him again this year. (The new report said “about seventy percent but the web site said about eighty percent so I’m going with seventy-five percent.) Here are my thoughts about this… *Sidebar: The opinions expressed here are my own (or those of the guest… Read more

July 2, 2020

Now I Support Government Funding of Religious Schools (Not) *Satire Warning* *Note: I had to put “satire warning” after the title above just because hard experience has taught me that many people are satire-challenged. Even with the strongest hints they don’t get that something is satirical. Also: IF you choose to comment on this blog post, remember that this is not a discussion board; it is a moderated blog and I will not approve and post here comments that are… Read more

July 1, 2020

Non-Violent Revolution Is Possible *Note: Here I speak only for myself. If you choose to comment, know that I will not approve any comment that is uncivil, misrepresents what I wrote, is off topic, is hostile, is overly long. Keep it brief, on topic, and address only me. Be kind. This is not a discussion board; it is a moderated blog where I express my opinions and allow the right kind of discussion. If you are not an evangelical Christian,… Read more

June 30, 2020

Words of Caution and Advice for the Protesters *Note: If you choose to comment make sure your words are civil, respectful (of others here and elsewhere) and non-inflammatory. Hostile, angry, vicious diatribes will not be posted here. This is a space for calm, rational discussion of theology and ethics—especially from an evangelical Christian perspective. Do not include any hyperlinks in your comment. Do not include lengthy quotations. Do not merely preach a sermon or quote the Bible or someone else…. Read more

June 26, 2020

Is Racism Ignorance or Disease? Of course these are not the only two options; it’s possible that racism is both ignorance and disease or neither. But I have been wondering this: Does even really good education about race work to eradicate racism from people? Obviously, one answer is—yes, some people. But what about others? Are there people who cannot be liberated from their racisms by education alone? Background to my question: It seems to me that we, Americans (and no… Read more

June 22, 2020

Whatever Happened to Shame? Some of you, my dear readers, may be old enough to remember a television program hosted by journalist Arnold Diaz (one version on CBS and another version on Fox Network) in which consumer fraud was exposed and each segment ended with a large finger pointing at the name of the company or individual with the words “Shame! Shame! Shame!” printed and chanted. It seems to me that today’s American society is ashamed of shame; we have… Read more

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